Thousands still without power as engineers battle snow and ice

Some could be waiting until the weekend to have electricity restored with a Met Office yellow warning still in force.

Thousands of homes in Shetland remain without power as they face a fourth day of freezing temperatures without electricity.

Engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution have battled against severe weather as they work to restore energy to around 2,400 properties which remain off supply in Voe, Brae, Yell and the West Mainland.

The Scottish Government declared a major incident for Shetland on Tuesday after severe snowfall caused “extensive” damage to overhead cables.

But some people could be without power until the weekend.

Engineers try to restore power in Shetland

A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice remains in place across much of northern Scotland, including Shetland, until 11.59pm on Thursday.

The weather has led to school closures, with all schools in Shetland shut on Thursday and more than 60 closed in Aberdeenshire.

Police are urging people on the islands to stay at home and try to keep warm.

Chief inspector Stuart Clemenson said: “Local and national partners and members of the community are working round the clock to ensure vulnerable people have the support they need.

“Responders have been out on foot checking on sheltered accommodation residents and delivering medication, while there has been a phenomenal response from SSEN who have extra engineers coming over on flights and by ferry.

“While we wait for power to be restored to all homes, I continue to urge people to stay at home and find ways to stay warm.”

On Wednesday evening Mark Macdonald, head of region at SSEN Distribution, said: “Today has been about rebuilding the core spine of the network. Following three days of significant travel constraints, severe access issues and continued adverse weather conditions, we’re making up for lost time with engineers working since first light today.

“By Thursday a 125-strong team will continue this rebuild, while simultaneously reconnecting homes by rerouting the network and connecting large-scale mobile generation to restore power to our customers.

“We’d encourage customers to take advantage of the welfare provisions organised in partnership with Shetland Islands Council and the Local Resilience Partnership, working closely with DH Marine who have worked tirelessly throughout Wednesday to connect mobile generation to power local public halls.

“We’ve delivered non-perishable food items to these locations this evening to support the joint welfare effort, ensuring the worst affected communities have access to hot food, drink and a warm space.”

Customers can claim up to £30 per person for every 24 hours they are without power and are asked to keep copies of their receipts.

Affected customers have been offered reimbursements on “reasonable food costs” for a hot meal if they are able to safely travel to areas with power.

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